Archive for the 'Energy Saving' Category

A glass-door refrigerator for a change of pace

Yes, it’s a bit unusual. But why not? This is a commercial refrigerator from Frigidaire that is being used in a home. It costs from $1,400 to $1,700 depending on what kind of deal you can get. The light can stay on or off. You decide. Some people like to leave it on during the [...]

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How’s that remodel working out? Greening up a modest tract house

Bill and Becka Doering did a whole-house green remodel on their Santa Barbara home, and I wrote a Pardon Our Dust feature about it, which you can read here. Bill is both an engineer and a green-building enthusiast. With his firm, Doering Design & Engineering, he helps others make their homes more energy-efficient. Also, the [...]

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Quiz: Which is the biggest energy hog at home?

Before we start generating energy onsite with solar panels and geothermal, we should cut down on any needless uses of energy in our homes. That way, we’ll need fewer solar panels to give us all the energy our homes need. But we are mostly in the dark (pun intended) when it comes to energy use. [...]

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Flash News — Hot sun makes barn cooler

This is what I’m talkin’ ’bout! This agricultural barn is being cooled with Big Ass Fans powered by solar panels. What a concept! This is so obvious! When the sun is beating down hot, the buildings and people and animals need cooling off. Rather than sucking black gunk out of the ground and burning it to create energy, why [...]

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The secrets of the spider webs

Here we have two identical windows on the same wall in a bathroom. A spider has built a web on one window (top), but not the other (bottom). Do you wonder why? It’s all about air leaks and food. Spiders don’t choose their home sites like we do. They don’t check Zillow for nearby home prices, [...]

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What is home performance? Check this out

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LEED? ICC-700? Energy Star? One builder gives up on green-building ratings

Vernon McKown, co-owner of Ideal Homes of Norman, Okla., is a pretty enlightened green builder whom I heard speak last week at the International Builder’s Show in Orlando. The topic was how to build affordable green homes and Vern made a shocking statement: He said he’s quitting all green-building rating systems programs. That includes Energy Star [...]

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A hot new career for women — home energy auditor

First, what are home energy auditors? These are professionals (accredited through BPI or certified through RESNET) who go into homes and measure or assess how much energy is being used and wasted through leaks and lack of insulation and bad HVAC systems and watt-sucking appliances. The idea is to figure out ways to make that home more [...]

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The New Orleans Healing Center rises from the post-Katrina muck

My heart goes out to the victims of Hurricane Irene. I feel your pain. (And I promise not ask this inane question: Why would you live/rebuild where hurricanes can hit? I’ve been to Vermont. I know why you live there.) Six years ago, when the federal levee system failed in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, [...]

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Why should buildings cause 39% of greenhouse gases? That just ain’t right

What is the most critical, dangerous, life-threatening problem of our time? Carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Everything else — political discord, economic downturns, loss of freedoms — can be changed fairly quickly. But once those greenhouse gases become trapped in the atmosphere, they will be there for a long, long, long time. And [...]

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A deep energy retrofit — coming soon to a very HOT climate

In case you’re not familiar with central Florida, let me break it down for you: it’s HOT, HOT, HOT. And humid. Think sunshine, thunder and flash rain storms in the summer. So what does this mean? Houses in hot and humid climates need to be built differently from those in, say, cool and dry climates. [...]

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Architect Portfolio: Hermosa Beach house on a teeny lot

The more I study this “green” house, the more I like it. Of course, it’s more of a teardown and rebuild than a remodel, but the lot size — at 30 feet by 50 feet — presented plenty of challenges. The 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house, which is two blocks from the beach in Hermosa, was designed for a [...]

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Weatherstripping Doors and Windows: Fall Maintenance – DIY Life

The shortening days of autumn are a hint that winter is just around the corner. They’re also our cue to start considering ways to keep the house warm and toasty – without going broke. What’s eating up your energy bill? Often, the major culprits are as simple as your home’s doors and windows: prime escape [...]

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A light bulb that lasts 17 years

A soon-to-be-released light bulb developed by General Electric uses cutting-edge technology to last — get this — 17 years!  Let’s put it into perspective. Imagine you have a baby, and you install the soon-to-be-available Energy Smart LED (light-emitting diode) bulb in the baby’s room. That baby will grow up and graduate from high school before that light bulb burns out [...]

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Fake gas-powered alarm clock wins Energy Star label

Does a “gasoline-powered alarm clock” qualify for the Energy Star label, the government stamp of approval for an energy-saving product? Like more than a dozen other bogus products submitted for approval since last June by Congressional auditors posing as companies, it easily secured the label, according to a Congressional report to be issued Friday. So [...]

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Don’t miss out on cash for clunkers for appliances rebates in your state

From Consumer Reports: While a few states started doling out rebates to consumers as part of the $300 million cash for clunkers for appliances program at the end of 2009, the launch date for most states will occur throughout the first several months of 2010. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois (phase 1 only), Kansas, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, [...]

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Energy tax credits tempt homeowners

From Bank Rate: Federal tax credits are helping to fuel demand for energy-efficient, "green" home remodeling projects. Few people undertake major home remodeling projects simply to be more environmentally conscious, says Greg Miedema, president of Dakota Builders Inc. in Tucson, Ariz., and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders remodeling division. "Nobody's going to [...]

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Got wind? Try a Honeywell home wind turbine for $5,995

As seen at the International Builder's Show, going on now in Las Vegas:

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Whirlpool smells profit in new washer with anti-odor, smart grid features

It may feel a little creepy to think of your washing machine talking to the power company, but that's among the bells and whistles appliance manufacturers are coming up with to perk up a market that's been smacked down hard by the recession.  For now, Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) wants to get an edge by protecting [...]

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Economy wins, environment loses? Survey finds consumers now would rather make their homes prettier than energy-efficient

A new national survey released today finds Americans once again prefer aesthetic home improvements – a refinished kitchen or bathroom – over money-saving improvements, such as energy-efficient windows or a high-efficiency furnace.   The survey, the fifth annual Energy Pulse survey conducted by Shelton Group, found that consumers are reverting to their old priorities as the [...]

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